Sample Poetry



I got to know what was soft
and where the hard parts were

in that upholstered bed room.
Every headlight was a worry.

I kept my clothes as much
as I could. It didn’t bother you.

Even that time getting caught didn’t.
You liked it. You said you loved me,

but it was what I was doing
that you loved. You grabbed

my hair when you said it.
I could’t believe how fast

I didn’t see you anymore.
Breath on the window blurs

The evergreens by the reservoir.
The fabric imprints my skin.

The engine, gasping, almost
stalling sometimes, rocks still.


Iowa ReviewIowa Review


…Problem is
they grew
too fast, grew
too early.
Such a young girl
I was, always
bending backwards
sticking out
my stomach
to exceed them.

They had, as you
know, advantages
Sure they got me
for couple-skate.
Guided by them
and a boy I glided
around the rink
holding hands.

And always I was
the first
girl to go
when the best
boys, the captains
they were called,
chose up sides
and we went
to stand
behind them.

It went on
for years,
my hatred
of them. And people
were better off
not to tell me
they were lovely
Every blouse, every
garment I owned, chosen
to lessen them…


New England ReviewNew England Review

She No Longer Looks at Herself

In the new
and happy life
she is not looking

at herself crouched
in the easement
channeling her pee

downhill between
her feet, moving around
the gravel run off

She is looking at
her love, who rocks
in the car of loud

soothing music
she is looking
at the browning

beside her, stiff
in their seeding.

And her mind,
sweet problem,
has stopped yapping

the blah, blah.
The weather’s cool
atmosphere is all over her

saying “You are here
by the freeway. It is
the mist in the air at dusk

making the sun
look unusually
large, that’s all.”

One Way Love

I came out of the place
alone, after eating alone
just because I wanted to.
I wasn’t lonely. I was
anything but lonely.
And I hit that street happy.
Happy in that slightly
sad way I’m happy
when I’m alone and
missing the people
I love. I’m thinking
about them tonight.
And tonight I’ll go home
and I won’t let myself
call any of them up.
I’ll sit in my room
alone, no TV,
no poems, nothing.
And when I’m good
and sad in that
happy kind of way,
I’ll go out driving
past their dark
apartments. I’ll look up
at the windows of the rooms
where each of them
will be sleeping–not
thinking of me–but I’ll
be thinking of them and
I won’t let myself
wake them. I won’t.


Black Warrior ReviewBlack Warrior Review

Love Caught

Believe me, I can’t
let loose my love yet

We drive to the orchard
on the most autumn of days

singing those tunes
and my voice isn’t right

the pigs by the road
don’t move me

and the man in the store
is not God though he pulls

apples from the trees
and sells them to us

saying which are for pie
and which for plain eating.